Residence Life

Frequently asked questions

As we prepare to move in to residence halls this fall (September 4th for first-year and new transfer students, and September 7th for returning students), Residence Life has prepared answers to your most frequently asked questions. This information is subject to change based on guidance from the CDC and state/local health agencies. If your question is not answered here, please contact residencelife@oglethorpe.edu and our staff will gladly help.

Updated: 07/15/20

Questions and answers about life on campus this fall

Will the Residence Halls be open?

Yes! All Residence Halls are open.

Please know we are monitoring both the local and national situation and following recommendations from the CDC and other health organizations. Should there be a need to change our occupancy, or modify any of our protocols, all residents will be notified via their university email address. We will also continue to post updates here and in weekly emails.

For more information about move in dates, what to bring and what to expect, please see the Residence Life website.  

What is Oglethorpe doing to mitigate the spread of COVID 19 in the Residence Halls?

Per CDC guidance, we have increased cleaning protocols, purchased COVID specific cleaning products and modified roommate agreements (more below). Some examples include:

  • Daily disinfectant “fogging” in all common areas including common bathrooms, elevators, handrails, and exterior doors. These foggers kill all viruses and bacteria in as little as 3-5 minutes.
  • Multiple hand sanitizing stations throughout the residence halls
  • In-suite bathrooms cleaned monthly with each resident being notified prior to scheduled service.
  • See this page for additional precautions

I have a roommate/suitemate. Has anything changed regarding living together during COVID 19?

It is everyone’s responsibility to keep our community safe. This is particularly true in the residence halls. Fundamentally, we consider people sharing a living space a “family unit” and the physical space they share their “home”. While we have always had roommate/suitemate agreements, the Residence Life staff has created a new more robust agreement to address COVID-19 specific concerns. You and your roommates/suitemates, with the assistance of Residence Life staff, will negotiate and codify cleaning schedules, disinfecting protocols, guest policy, and other related issues. The contract isn’t complete until the entire “family unit” feels comfortable and agrees.

Will the common areas be open?

While this is subject to change, we are anticipating that common rooms will be open.  All common rooms will be clearly marked with the maximum number of individuals allowed in the space and furniture will be arranged to ensure social distancing. If at any time that number of people is exceeded, or the furniture is not in compliance with policy, the students will be asked to leave and/or be asked to put furniture back to its original set up. As with other indoor public spaces on campus, students will be expected to wear masks in residence hall common areas.

Will the kitchen in Bowden-Magbee or Jobe-Hansen be open?

Unfortunately, at this time, the kitchens are going to be closed. Due to social distancing constraints, and cleaning constraints, we are not allowing these spaces to open this fall. However, we are monitoring the situation and if and when we feel it is safe to reopen the kitchens, we will do so and notify residents. 

Will we be allowed to have guests over?

At this time, the university is not banning guests, but this could change. The roommate/suitemate agreement will dictate guest policy in individual rooms/suites. At a minimum, we anticipate limits placed on our guest policy.

Will the laundry rooms be open?

Yes, the laundry rooms will be open and available to residents. We encourage you to wear a mask and socially distance yourself from other residents in the laundry facilities. The laundry rooms will also be cleaned daily with our disinfectant foggers. We may have additional protocols in place and will post as we get closer to the beginning of semester.

Are we allowed to travel outside of Oglethorpe on the weekends?

The CDC recommends limiting all unnecessary travel at this time. While Oglethorpe will not specifically prohibit travel, we ask that you consider your personal safety, as well as the safety of your roommate/suitemates while you travel. Frequent handwashing, wearing a mask, and maintaining social distancing is encouraged. Keep in mind that both the City of Brookhaven and the City of Atlanta have implemented mandatory mask orders.

What happens if a student tests positive for COVID-19?

All students will be asked to complete a personal health assessment each day as to how they are feeling. If a student exhibits any symptoms of COVID-19 they are asked to stay home or stay in their residence hall room. We are working with our healthcare partner, Peachtree Immediate Care, to establish a plan to get students tested quickly, and efficiently.

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to quarantine in a COVID-19 designated space. Residence Life has kept several suites offline for this explicit purpose. The student’s former room will be cleaned/disinfected and the other members of the “family unit” (See above) will be asked to self-isolate pending a COVID-19 test clearing them. Students with whom the infected student had contact will be notified, asked to self-isolate and their rooms will also be cleaned/disinfected.

Our COVID-19 response team will help all students navigate classes, meals, etc. to ensure as minimal a disruption as possible.

Will there still be programming in the residence halls?

Yes! Just because we are being careful, doesn’t mean we don’t still value community and the need for connecting with others. We have already begun planning a busy fall with both socially distant and virtual programming. More details will be forthcoming and if you have specific ideas of what you would like to see, just let us know at residencelife@oglethorpe.edu.  

How will move-in work?

We are currently reviewing best practices and working with our COVID-19 task force to plan move-in. We want to try to stay as close to our Oglethorpe traditions as possible while also making sure we take appropriate safety protocols during the process. You can mark your calendar for September 4th for first-year and new transfer students, and September 7th for returning students. We will be distributing more information about the specific logistics in the coming weeks. As always, if you have a question or concern just let us know.

What if I do not want to live on-campus, but I do not meet the standard exemption criteria?

Our priority is the health and safety of our community, and we understand that some students may be most comfortable at home or in a remote environment. That is okay! Steps for living off-campus include:

  • Fill out the 2020-2021 Housing Exemption Application on oglethorpe.erezlife.com.
  • If you meet our standard criteria (Over 22 years of age, live with your parent or legal guardian within 25 miles of the university, or are married), then you will be approved by the Residence Life office.
  • If you do not meet the exemption criteria, that is ok. You will have one more step- the non-academic appeal. Residence Life will email you instructions to appeal. If a parent or guardian approves your choice to live off-campus, you should be approved to live off, and hopefully we will see you back on campus in the spring!

When do I need to decide if I am living on-campus or not?

We are asking that all students decide by August 11 if they are choosing to live on-campus or living off-campus. This will allow us to best plan accordingly for the fall semester.

However, we understand that things change, and we want you to make the right decision for you. So, if you make the decision after August 11, we will be happy to work with you regarding your unique situation. Please trust that we are going to be extra considerate and accommodating in these unique times.